King vs. California King Mattress Comparison: Which Is Best? Update 07/2024

You need to make sure you get the proper mattress size before you buy a new bed. The king and the California king are the finest options for folks who need a lot of room. Why are these two sizes so different?

The general belief is that California kings are larger than ordinary kings. Quite the contrary, in fact. Despite its greater length, the Cal king has a narrower base, resulting in a smaller sleeping surface than the standard king. Keep reading to find out if California king or king is a better option for your needs.

California King vs. King Mattress: Prices and Features

Consider the standard king size when purchasing a new mattress in between the queen and king sizes. With these large-sized mattresses, there is often no price difference between them.

It’s not uncommon to find king and California king-sized mattresses in the best mattress companies of 2021. Like Brooklyn Bedding, they also have California king and RV king-size mattress options that can be split into two separate mattresses. Campers, trailers, and other types of recreational vehicles can use RV king beds, which are king-sized.

California King Mattress Overview


  • Good for tall people
  • Good for narrower rooms


  • Hard to find bedding and accessories
  • Not as common

The origin of the California king is a subject of contention. Some believe it was made for Hollywood stars in the 1920s and 1930s, while others say it was made for enormous Los Angeles houses during World War II or in the 1960s. As a result, most mattress manufacturers continue to sell California king- and Western king-sized mattresses.

The California king bed, which measures 72 inches broad and 84 inches long, is ideal for individuals who prefer a few extra inches at the foot of the bed. If you have a pet that sleeps at the foot of your bed, you may find that a conventional king-sized bed isn’t quite long enough. Additionally, it is more suited to rooms that are both long and narrow. Remember to provide 2 to 3 feet of clearance around your bed to allow for easy mobility. A California king-size mattress may be a better option if your bedroom is on the narrow side.

The fact that a California king bed is less prevalent than a normal king bed is a drawback. Makes finding sheets and box springs that fit your bed more challenging. Even so, California king mattresses aren’t all that uncommon, and you can often buy a California king mattress and the sheets that go with it all in one purchase from one mattress company.

There is a California king size option for every mattress in our Best Mattresses of 2021 list.

King Mattress Overview


  • Having a standard size makes it easy to find the right accessories.
  • For people who prefer a larger bed.


  • As a whole, it requires greater area.

In contrast to the “Western king,” which is 80 inches long and 76 inches wide, the “Eastern king” measures 76 inches wide. As a result, it has a somewhat larger footprint than the California king. When a queen-size mattress isn’t quite enough for you and your partner, this is a great option! A queen-sized mattress might fit on top of it, but it’s 16 inches wider. It’s ideal for those of average height who prefer to have some breathing room on the sides of their bed. People who share a bed with their children may find it more comfortable than a California king or a queen.

Availability is one advantage of a king-size mattress over a California king-size mattress. Due to the king’s widespread acceptance as a standard size, you’ll find it in nearly every product designed to fit numerous bed sizes. The California king bed isn’t always like this.

Our list of the Best Mattresses of 2021 includes all king-size mattresses.

What is a King Size?

A king-sized mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, which is the same size as two twin beds arranged side-by-side. When two people sleep, a king-size bed (also known as an Eastern King) has room for children who like to sleep with their parents at night.

The normal king-size mattress covers 6,080 square inches of surface area, making it the largest mattress size on the market. At least 12 feet by 10 feet is required for this size bed, however we prefer 13 feet by 13 feet for the finest balance of space.. Second only to the queen size bed, it is the most popular choice for couples.


  • Room for families with children as well as for couples who enjoy some extra space.
  • Ample sleeping space.
  • This product is widely accessible.
  • Couples with varying sleeping habits may benefit from a split king bed.


  • Expensive.
  • Too large for confined areas.
  • Size and weight make it difficult to transport.

What is a California King Size?

When two twin XL mattresses are joined together, they form the same size mattress as a California king (also known as a Western king). Also wonderful for couples, especially those who are above 6 feet tall. Because it is narrower than a king-size mattress, a Cal king can accommodate up to two adults and one or two small children.

The California king mattress is the second-largest standard size in the mattress business, with 6,048 square inches of total surface area. Master bedrooms that measure 12 feet by 12 feet are excellent for Cal king mattresses; a room of 12 feet by 14 feet would be optimal to handle the bed’s extra length.


  • People who are at least six feet tall.
  • Lovers of intimacy who want to grow closer.
  • Option for couples with varying sleep preferences: Split California king
  • Ample sleeping space.


  • Bulky size makes it difficult to move.
  • A greater cost.
  • Finding a bed is a real challenge.

Should I Buy a California King or a King Mattress?

When picking between a king and a California king mattress, there are a number of factors to take into account. This purchase doesn’t necessitate consideration of a crucial consideration when it comes to making a purchase: price. Because they are nearly the same size, the manufacturing costs for a California king and a regular king may appear to be different. Most king and California king mattresses in our ranking are priced the same way.

In addition to pricing, here are some more factors to keep in mind:

  • Your Height: The percentage is the primary distinction between these two mattress sizes. A California king is four inches narrower and four inches longer than a normal king. A California king bed can be a good option if you’re more than 6 feet tall.
  • Sleeping partner(s): It’s possible that you and your spouse both prefer to sleep in a standard king mattress, rather than a California king. There are some people who prefer to sleep in close proximity and may not notice the difference in bed width.
  • Sleeping positions: When purchasing a mattress, this is a crucial consideration. Your preference for sleeping on your back or on your side should be taken into account when making this decision. The regular king is the best option if you need additional space on either side of the bed. The best mattresses for side sleepers can be found here.
  • Room size: Since California king mattresses were developed expressly for California king-sized rooms, the size of the room should be taken into consideration when deciding on a mattress’s dimensions. Both the size and the shape of your room should be taken into consideration. There are some apparent advantages to the California king in long, narrow rooms, but you’ll also want to consider the room’s overall composition and the placement of your bed in relation to other furnishings. Make sure there is enough room to get around the bed comfortably when taking measurements.
  • Installation: There is nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a new mattress only to discover it won’t fit through your door. This is why it’s crucial to consider the width and length of your doorways and hallways. Consider the delivery fees while comparing the prices of different mattress brands. In many cases, mattress businesses will ship or deliver a mattress for free, but only to the front door. There is a good chance that you may require assistance in transporting your king-sized or California-sized bed.


Is a California king bigger than a regular king?

In terms of overall surface area, the king-size mattress is larger than the California king-size – 6,080 square inches vs 6,048 square inches, respectively. But for most people, this difference is insignificant. When it comes to personal space, both alternatives are frequently sufficient.

How much bigger is California king than a queen?

A California king mattress measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, while a queen mattress measures 60 inches broad by 80 inches long.

What is the point of a California king bed?

For tall people or couples with a small, narrow master bedroom, the Cal king is an excellent choice. While each sleeper has plenty of room, the California king bed doesn’t occupy as much area in terms of width.

What is an Alaskan king bed?

The Alaskan king is 9 feet wide and 9 feet long. For those who need a lot of area for two people to sleep, Alaskan kings are a great option. They are also ideal for co-sleeping with children. If you want an Alaskan king mattress, you may have to order one from a mattress retailer.

Why is it called a California king?

When the California king was invented in Los Angeles, California, the moniker stuck. He figured that most Californians would be able to fit a bed six feet broad and seven feet long into their homes, so he created this mattress.

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